Wednesday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • Los Angeles Metro defended its decision to shut down transit service by blaming protestors for graffiting vehicles and preventing a bus from moving through a demonstration, which the agency claims could have endangered the operator (The Source). It also said Metro was “required by law” to transport arrested protestors on behalf of police, even though dozens of cities across the country respected union transit workers who elected to abstain. (Streetsblog LA)
  • New curfews went into effect in dozens of U.S. cities last night, some of them indefinitely (Bloomberg). Meanwhile, the mayor of Kansas City, Mo. pledged not to issue one after facing pushback for his police department’s treatment of protestors. (Kansas City Star)
  • Dozens of national transportation groups like NACTO and Smart Growth America are issuing statements in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, though most didn’t detail specific accountability actions. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Street safety advocates are calling for a ban on rubber bullets, which police are using to maim protestors in the streets. (Jacobin)
  • Philadelphia protestors were gassed while attempting to peacefully shut down an expressway. (Inquirer)
  • Voters headed to the polls for candidates like Maya Cummings, who ran on a platform that explicitly framed increasing transit access and funding as social justice issues. (The Nation)
  • Uber will let you rent a “personal driver” by the hour now. (USA Today)
  • Our road infrastructure wasn’t built for the climate catastrophe that’s almost certainly coming, and experts warn that we need to act soon to adapt it. (Vice)
  • Ridership has been low on Austin’s CapMetro during COVID-19, so the agency has used workers and vehicles to deliver 300,000 meals to date. (Mass Transit)
  • News from the North: Ottawa will be the first city in Canada to require face masks on transit. (CBC)
  • Someone invented an air filter for passenger trains that will remove “more than 90 percent of contaminants per air cycle.” Will it help make transit safer during the ongoing pandemic? (Metro Magazine)

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Transit Union Challenges NYPD Order to Help Arrest Fellow Protestors

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After Saturday’s arrest of 700 Occupy Wall Street protestors, the New York Police Department ordered bus drivers to go to the Brooklyn Bridge, and transport protestors to police facilities for holding and processing. But the bus drivers didn’t think helping cops suppress protestors’ first amendment rights was in their job description, and the Transport Workers Union took […]